Job title: Head of Facilities.
Organisation: BAFTA: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Key responsibilities: I am responsible for the maintenance, security, compliance and health & safety of the Grade 2 listed London headquarters of BAFTA and the offices of the charity.
What attracted you to the job?
Everyone knows BAFTA for the awards, and rightly so, but it’s also a charity, which supports young people getting into film, TV and games regardless of their backgrounds. To be part of that, even in a small way, was really
attractive. The fact that I get to look after one of the most beautiful buildings in London – 195 Piccadilly – is a bonus.
My top perk at work is…
I get to see all the new films in the comfort of the Princess Anne Theatre, the beautiful cinema at our HQ, oh, and an opportunity to strut my stuff on the red carpet each year!
How did you get into facilities management and what attracted you to the industry?
In a non-traditional route. I always wanted to be a theatre manager, so I trained as a chef! (to quote my mother, ‘theatre is fickle; get a trade to fall back on’). I went from catering manager in a regional theatre to a trainee theatre manager in the West End. 16 years on, I was managing the Palace Theatre and looking for a role that gave me more regular hours. Theatre management is facilities-orientated so the change was organic.
What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
I am not from a technical or engineering background so I have to work really hard to understand this discipline and spend a lot of time reading regulations. I try to surround myself with people I can trust.
Any interesting tales to tell?
Having an H&S background, I write a lot of risk assessments. The most unique one was to write a safety brief for a burlesque dancer who wanted to end her act with flaming nipple tassels. Oddly, I had no problem finding volunteers for the fire watch!
What’s been your career high point to date?
Opening Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game. It was my first West End show as theatre manager. Prior to opening we refurbished the Cambridge Theatre to restore it to its art deco glory. It was a world premiere and ALW owned the building so there was pressure for it to be perfect.
If I wasn’t in FM, I’d probably be…
Running a wool shop. I am an ardent knitter.
If you could give away one of your responsibilities to an unsuspecting colleague, what would it be?
Invoicing – I didn’t even have to think about that!
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I would wave a wand and ensure that no one ever needs to hear “don’t you worry yourself about it, love” again!
Which “FM myth” would you most like to put an end to?
That we just do maintenance!
How do you think facilities management has changed in the last five years?
t’s all about the planet. Our industry will be leading the way in sustainability. BAFTA is doing its bit as well, promoting sustainable production in film and TV with its albert+ mark of sustainability. So it’s something I’m very much aware of.
Do your friends understand what FM is? STARTING OUT?
In the main, but if my husband wants to push my buttons he calls me the janitor!
WHAT SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG FM
“Pick an industry you love. Being an FM in a banking environment is very different to being an FM for somewhere like BAFTA”